St. Pete man accused of luring teens by pretending to be a girl online

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – On Facebook, he uses the name “Shay Jackson,” portraying himself as a cute, young girl. In reality, cops say he’s really 25-year-old D’andre Banks, an almost six foot, 225 pound man, accused of luring teen boys for sex.

Police know of one, possibly two victims, but they are fairly convinced there are more.

This case is different from most, with the accused pretending to be a girl to attack boys.

In the bedroom of a Paris Avenue house, detectives tell us D’andre Banks waited for a 17-year-old boy to show up.

They believe, in late June, the teen responded to a Facebook invitation to meet “Shay Jackson” and was told Shay’s brother would answer the door.

Instead, according to police, it was Banks, armed with a silver handgun, laser site, who forced the victim to undress and perform a sex act.

A relative thinks it is all a set up.

“He has a mental problem. Because, I’ve never seen him like that. He been around all the kids all the time and he’s just sweetheart. He wouldn’t do anything like that,” said Tasha Lawless.

Police tells us he did it once at the Paris Street house and likely tried it a second time, Monday, at an abandoned home on 20th Street South.

“He pretends to be a young, cute girl, a teenage girl, and he establishes a conversation with these boys online,” said Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Petersburg Police Department.

At the vacant house, a 15-year-old boy managed to escape unharmed.

”We believe there are more victims. If he did this within two weeks and was able to easily lure two teenage boys, we’re pretty sure he might have done it other times,” said Fernandez.

His relative insists that’s not the D’andre Banks she knows.

“Maybe he was on drugs. If they just swear up and down it’s him. Maybe it’s drugs. ‘Cause it’s not him,” said Tasha Lawless.

Banks has convictions for grand theft, burglary and probation violations.

He’s being held on $550,500 bond.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call police’s non-emergency number at 893-7780 or text SPPD and your tip to TIP411.

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